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Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canadian College of Performing Arts (CCPA) has employed a slew of innovative adaptations to safely provide its students with in-person performing arts training.

Initially daunted by COVID-19 restrictions in March 2020, the Victoria, B.C.-based CCPA quickly pivoted ­– including transforming its much-anticipated year-end graduating class stage production into an inventive digital performance, a first for the school.

“Everyone was inspired by this success,” says CCPA’s managing artistic director Caleb Marshall. “Our staff then worked over the summer to ensure CCPA students and faculty could safely return to in-person training in September.”

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Among its adaptations, the college enhanced its digital capacities with facility-wide Wi-Fi upgrades, plus new tablets, computers, webcams, screens and sound boards in every studio. The administrative offices were moved to make room for a new multi-purpose studio, designed to support physically-distanced classes. HEPA air filtration units and transparent safety barriers were installed to offer added protection in voice and singing classes.

“Beyond overhauling our physical and digital infrastructure, we also crafted new policies and procedures to guide the college community in working together to mitigate any possible exposure to the virus,” says Mr. Marshall.

Thanks to these and other efforts, the show has gone on, with CCPA students now approaching the end of the 2020-21 school year. “Many of the new approaches, including those supporting student health and wellness, will likely be continued when the pandemic ends,” says Mr. Marshall.

While some college productions have remained open to safely distanced live viewing audiences, all performances are also now live-streamed, allowing them to be shared with families and alumni, plus prospective students, artists and supporters everywhere.

COVID adaptation measures undertaken by CCPA have placed it at the forefront of Canada’s performing arts training programs.

“By maximizing technological opportunities in performing arts training, we have opened up infinite possibilities for training and connecting our young emerging artists,” says Mr. Marshall.


Advertising feature produced by Randall Anthony Communications with Colleges and Institutes Canada. The Globe’s editorial department was not involved.

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